Tonight finishes up 7 messages in 5 days with many new-found friends at the Gilmer church. Their hospitality toward me and reception of my messages has been wonderful.
Following tonight's presentation, it's off to DFW for an early morning flight out to Fresno, California.
Mandy and the girls decided to drive up last evening and it was great to spend the morning with the girls. I took them over to Texarkana to meet up with Grammy where they will stay while were away, allowing them to participate in VBS at the Village.
"The presence of the Holy Spirit is a necessary dimension of Bible reading. Even as scientific a reader as Alexander Campbell recognized that if we are 'to receive any benefit' from reading the Scriptures, 'we must earnestly pray for the Spirit to apply them and to explain them to our hearts.' The Spirit accompanies the word in such a way that the Spirit works in the hearts of its readers. It is through reading Scripture that we 'feel the Spirit of God working in us to will and do every thing pleasing to God.'
Reading Scripture, whether publicly as a community or privately as individuals, is a dynamic process by which the words on the page interact with the human mind in the power of the Spirit. Through the reading, meditation and teaching of Scripture, God clarifies his purposes for his people (2 Tim 2.7; Phl 3.15; Ac 15.28). God is no mere spectator when we read; rather, he seeks us, just as we seek him.
'The man of God reads the Book of God to commune with God, to feel after him and to find him, to feel his power and his divinity stirring within him; to have his soul fired, quickened, animated by the spirit of grace and truth. He reads the Bible to enjoy the God of the Bible...Such a one converses with God as one who speaks by signs. His readings are heavenly musings. God speaks: he listens.'
This dynamic understanding of Bible reading grounds the ultimate goal of Bible reading -- a means of grace (sanctification) by which God actively transforms people into his own image. God comes to us through his word in authority (norms and standards), but also in power (transforming us by the Spirit), and in presence (fellowship). The word -- in conjunction with the Spirit -- informs our intellect but also transforms our affections and empowers our wills. The goal of Bible reading is transformation into the likeness of Christ by the power of the Spirit" (Kingdom Come, p. 84-85).